Thursday, September 1, 2011

This Wasn't the Plan

Jon considered the ramifications of his daughter's expulsion as he drove to school to pick her up. Maybe he could talk her into going back with her mother at least until summer. He released a disconsolate sigh. He felt miles away from the life he had planned for himself, for his children, for his family. He missed Dougie terribly. His older son would have been nineteen this summer, finishing his sophomore year at college. How did he slip away? Where did we lose our grip on him?

Divorce from Stevie had not been in Jon's plans. Love with Stevie was special—automatic, he had thought, not something he had to guard, nurture, and work at. Had they somehow found common ground when it came to parenting techniques, Jon and Stevie might have prevented or at least survived Dougie's drug overdose. But instead of melting them together, the tragedy and subsequent bitterness, suspicion, and blaming drove them to opposite poles. Months of solitude and reflection had caused him to wonder at times if he had been too hasty about allowing the marriage to dissolve.

Jon was not eager to break the bad news about Shawna being expelled, particularly since Stevie might implicate him as a cause. After all, this incident happened on his watch, not hers, and she had always accused him of running too loose a ship when it came to their kids. Still five minutes from the school, Jon picked up the cell phone and tapped in his ex-wife's number.

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